Chinese Safety- Can't make this stuff up

mbrooke

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United States
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Bought one of these $5-8 Chinese made hair dryers from Amazon just to take to bits. They have no UL or NRTL listing, heck they don't even list the voltage or wattage on the casing.




First thing first: When I plugged it did not turn on. Instead it started to smell like burning rubber and acetone. The kind you can taste. The heating elements just glowing cherry red getting only whiter to which I promptly unplugged it.

Upon opening I discovered two things-


1st, the thing has no high limit and no thermal fuse despite holes being punched in the mica for these exact components. Instead the "return" nichrome wire just snakes through the holes:






2nd- and the interesting part... the leads for the motor are shorted to the metal case of said motor on both sides making it inoperative.

 

mbrooke

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This folks is why you see so many reviews on Amazon of products burning, exploding, shocking, injuring, ect users. The sad part being these listings create unfair competition. NRTL/UL listed products do not sell, but those that have all their safeties bypassed rake in huge profit simply by being a few dollars cheaper over the competitor.
 

romex jockey

Senior Member
Location
Vermont
excellent forensics MBrooke
(y)
and you know my 1st though? The very same folks that manufactured that are also our main source of PPE and pharmaceuticals....

~RJ~
 

mbrooke

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United States
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Ill call Jeff and tell him you found the thing NOT "lovely and practical" and want your money back :LOL:

Like this woman? 😂😂



Amazon hair dryers have been shooting sparks and fire for a decade now. Jeff's lov'n it.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I bet there are many hair dryers that are listed (and at least fair quality) that also come from China, in fact wouldn't surprise me if most of them don't come from there. You mentioned there were thermal cutoff locations in the equipment but no thermal cutoff. Very likely built from same base components as a model that is listed.

Maybe the bigger issue is the American consumer that will buy anything that is cheap.

Sounds like you were just lucky to find one that didn't work right away, how many others did work but maybe not for very long, and then consumer just purchases another cheap one? With an occasional one that has some catastrophic failure.
 

mbrooke

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I bet there are many hair dryers that are listed (and at least fair quality) that also come from China, in fact wouldn't surprise me if most of them don't come from there. You mentioned there were thermal cutoff locations in the equipment but no thermal cutoff. Very likely built from same base components as a model that is listed.

Maybe the bigger issue is the American consumer that will buy anything that is cheap.

Sounds like you were just lucky to find one that didn't work right away, how many others did work but maybe not for very long, and then consumer just purchases another cheap one? With an occasional one that has some catastrophic failure.

Well said. I think the same manufacturer(s) thats making the UL listed version of these dryer for stores are making none listed versions for online purchase through private sellers bypassing liability laws. You can sue Wal-Mart, but you can't really sue someone on Ebay, as Amazon is just the middle man and China is just the independent seller granted immunity.

Most equipment does fine as it does not fail or simply most users don't realize their new phone charger is placing 120 volts on the case of their phone while wearing socks on a wood/carpet floor. Its not until they are on a none GFCI outlet with wet hands or not around to unplug that overheating coffee maker that causes the worse case scenario to play out.

I bought several different sizes of these dryers since they were so cheap. They rest work- but they all lack high limits.

The American populace has to ask themselves if they are ok closing down stores leaving people without jobs as the US floods with 3rd world consumer goods giving NFPA70 an excuse to mandate ever more expensive safety devices...
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Well said. I think the same manufacturer(s) thats making the UL listed version of these dryer for stores are making none listed versions for online purchase through private sellers bypassing liability laws. You can sue Wal-Mart, but you can't really sue someone on Ebay, as Amazon is just the middle man and China is just the independent seller granted immunity.

Most equipment does fine as it does not fail or simply most users don't realize their new phone charger is placing 120 volts on the case of their phone while wearing socks on a wood/carpet floor. Its not until they are on a none GFCI outlet with wet hands or not around to unplug that overheating coffee maker that causes the worse case scenario to play out.

I bought several different sizes of these dryers since they were so cheap. They rest work- but they all lack high limits.

The American populace has to ask themselves if they are ok closing down stores leaving people without jobs as the US floods with 3rd world consumer goods giving NFPA70 an excuse to mandate ever more expensive safety devices...
Some those NFPA70 safety devices also come from China, if not entirely built there at least some components come from there - but the major players will have stricter specifications or possibly will at least own or have some control of the plant where those things are made. Same for other products that do come from there that are considered better grade.

Read an article recently about "Smithfield Farms" being one the largest pork producers in the US but was sold recently to Chinese company. This is supposedly going to mean (if not already happening) that those hogs are born and raised in the US but are processed in China. Yes it supposed to be cheaper to do that way. Don't know how well they follow processing and handling standards we have here, that still occasionally can raise concerns at times over here, not so much the standards being a concern but compliance.
 

mbrooke

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United States
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Some those NFPA70 safety devices also come from China, if not entirely built there at least some components come from there - but the major players will have stricter specifications or possibly will at least own or have some control of the plant where those things are made. Same for other products that do come from there that are considered better grade.

Read an article recently about "Smithfield Farms" being one the largest pork producers in the US but was sold recently to Chinese company. This is supposedly going to mean (if not already happening) that those hogs are born and raised in the US but are processed in China. Yes it supposed to be cheaper to do that way. Don't know how well they follow processing and handling standards we have here, that still occasionally can raise concerns at times over here, not so much the standards being a concern but compliance.


True- but as you said its held to higher standards and held to listings. However I don't like how we are giving China money for their own downfalls. In the end people will get hurt, no matter what the NFPA does.

The US has food handling facilities which can make you puke. But in all honesty I'd rather eat from those then some in China.
 

Jraef

Moderator
Staff member
Location
San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
Read an article recently about "Smithfield Farms" being one the largest pork producers in the US but was sold recently to Chinese company. This is supposedly going to mean (if not already happening) that those hogs are born and raised in the US but are processed in China. Yes it supposed to be cheaper to do that way. Don't know how well they follow processing and handling standards we have here, that still occasionally can raise concerns at times over here, not so much the standards being a concern but compliance.
Hoax by the way. Yes, Smithfield is owned by a holding company based in Hong Kong, and yes, they export pork products to China and process them there. But they do NOT re-send those products back to the US, they are for consumption in China, the largest market in the world for pork. They have no need to send the processed product back. Smithfield still processes all pork consumed in the US at the same factories it has always had in the US. One of my customers (sausage factory) is a customer of Smithfield and after that hoax came out, they got all of the pertinent details as verified by the FDA as to the sourcing of all of his meat products going into the sausages, as also required by our laws.
 

Jraef

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Staff member
Location
San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA
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Electrical Engineer
As to Amazon selling crap, I have had several run-ins with them on that front and bottom line, they don't care. That is, unless enough people send products back for refunds. Sad truth is, a lot of people don't, or if they do, the supplier then contacts them and offers them free merchandise if they will write a glowing review, which lots of people will do to get free chit. I know one of those guys, it's amazingly stupid how much stuff he gets for free from them, including things like large flat screen TVs, cell phones etc.
 

mbrooke

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United States
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As to Amazon selling crap, I have had several run-ins with them on that front and bottom line, they don't care. That is, unless enough people send products back for refunds. Sad truth is, a lot of people don't, or if they do, the supplier then contacts them and offers them free merchandise if they will write a glowing review, which lots of people will do to get free chit. I know one of those guys, it's amazingly stupid how much stuff he gets for free from them, including things like large flat screen TVs, cell phones etc.
Yuppers. They've deleted some of my negative reviews, contacted me for a "replacement" then approved my positive review.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Hoax by the way. Yes, Smithfield is owned by a holding company based in Hong Kong, and yes, they export pork products to China and process them there. But they do NOT re-send those products back to the US, they are for consumption in China, the largest market in the world for pork. They have no need to send the processed product back. Smithfield still processes all pork consumed in the US at the same factories it has always had in the US. One of my customers (sausage factory) is a customer of Smithfield and after that hoax came out, they got all of the pertinent details as verified by the FDA as to the sourcing of all of his meat products going into the sausages, as also required by our laws.
I kind of wondered how much that article floating around on Facebook was true. There may have been some truths in there but then twisted to the author's desires (probably more political than anything) yet wasn't so far out there that it is totally unbelievable either.

First impressions reading it sounded like they are raising hogs in the US and shipping them to China for processing - doesn't seem likely they would send live hogs that far to be processed, but also doesn't seem too likely they would slaughter them and do some minor processing just to be able to ship the carcases for further proccessing either. To do so totally for exporting and not expecting them back does make more sense. I know labor is cheap there, but a lot is already done just at the slaughter house even if it is to be sent elsewhere for final processing.
 

don_resqcapt19

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Staff member
Location
Illinois
I had an opportunity to visit the UL headquaters in Northbrook a few years ago...it is not just products with out any listing marks. They had examples of what was said to be a 14 AWG extension cord, complete with a fake UL mark....the conductor inside was only 20 AWG.
 
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